I don't think you're understanding the importance of quantifying such things before making absolutist statments.
I firmly believe there is enough information out there to make somewhat of an informed decision about caliber effectiveness vs hearing loss. I personally think you are looking into it way too deeply, and I don't need endless charts, graphs, super specific studies and page upon page of data to make an informed decision. Now that's not to say I haven't done a good amount of research into each of the matters, just that I don't need a chart and a graph to make up my mind for me, I choose to do that on my own. I trust the 9mm and .45 regardless of what statistical data says on the internet. I know those rounds have significantly lower DB levels than the .357 mag, thus the potential to cause less damage. I don't need a study directly comparing cartridge effectiveness vs potential hearing loss to make the decision of what caliber to use.
There's no disputing that any round regardless of caliber has the potential to cause hearing damage.
There's no disputing higher DB levels have the potential to cause more damage form shot to shot. If you don't believe me go talk to a ENT because I have seen several.
There's no disputing the .357 magnum is significantly louder than modern 9mm or .45 etc... i.e. the potential to cause more damage from shot to shot compared to a lower pressure round.
There's enough information out there to support the 9mm or .45 as a viable choice as a self defense round.
Therefore using a 9mm or .45, which are perfectly viable options for a self defense round, yet have a significantly lower DB level than the .357 mag, can minimize the degree of hearing loss you may suffer form shot to shot. There is enough information out there to support this, period.